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I4                   HISTORY OF PKRSf A                 rlui,
majority of its Arab inhabitants became converted to his
creed, and the Jews, who formed a large percentage of the
population, observed in amazement that the idols were
thrown down and that belief in one God was neknmvledgetl
An invitation to leave hostile Mecca tor friendly
Medina was given by a hand of seventy leading citi/cns
at a secret meeting held near Mecca, and shortly utter this
the Prophet's adherents began to migrate w small parties.
Mohamed and the faithful Abu Bekr remained until the
last To put their enemies off the track they tirsf hid in
a cave to the south of Mecca for a few days, ami then, in
the fifty-third year of the Prophet's life, on June IQ>
A.D. 622, the famous journey was begun, I'Yom this date
the Moslem era starts, the word //(//w incorrectly written
Hegira, signifying "Flight** No saying is truer than
that "a prophet is not without honour, but in his own
country, and among his own kir^ ami in his own house/*
and, had not Mohamed been strong enough to face the
odium of what the Arabs regarded us u deed of shame by
quitting his own people and proceeding to Mcdim, Islam
would in all probability have died with its Prophet, HOW
already in middle age.
The Erection of the First Mosque *tt AMitM*- At
Medina he was received with honour and rejoicing, and
was pressed by various leading men to become their
guest Unwilling to identify himself with any one tribe,
he courteously replied that where the camel &it down
there would he dwell The beast stopped and sat down
in a large open courtyard in the eastern quarter of the
city. Mohamed purchased the land* and erected upon it
the first mosque, a square building of stone, brick, and
palm logs. The Kibla, towards which the faithful prayed,
was Jerusalem- The Az&n> or Cull to Prayer, was now
instituted, running as follows: ** Great is the Lord 1
Great is the Lord 1 I bear witness that there is no God
but the Lord: I bear witness that Mohamed is the
Prophet of God* Come unto prayer; Come unto Salva-
tion. God is Great 1 God is Great 1 There is no God
but the Lord P The traveller from the West to this
day finds nothing more solemn or more striking than to